Ask, and often you receive

By Doug Haddix, IRE training director A public records request for e-mails sometimes can produce quick-turn watchdog stories with powerful results. Take the experience of John Russell, a business reporter for The Indianapolis Star. Russell sharpened his investigative skills during a two-day IRE watchdog boot camp in Nashville for Gannett employees. The training was one…

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Gannett bolsters watchdog work

By Doug Haddix, IRE training director Attorney Herschel Fink brandished a copy of a $400,000 check from the city of Detroit – payable to the Detroit Free Press for legal fees in a public records battle involving former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. While large, the payment didn’t cover the newspaper’s full costs in its aggressive investigation,…

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Teaching the trainer

By Doug Haddix, IRE training director Every trainer will tell you that one of the joys of the job is learning from people you’re training. During recent custom training for The Associated Press in San Francisco, the group was talking about ways to avoid high copying fees for paper documents. After I suggested using a…

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What journalists learned in Minnesota

By Doug Haddix IRE training director   Nearly 60 reporters, editors and publishers from small newspapers in southern Minnesota took part in three days of IRE custom training in December. The specialized IRE training was sponsored by Huckle and Mainstream newspapers. Several reporters and editors shared what they learned in a short video. It touches…

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Training, IRS 990s pay off in Santa Fe

Building on IRE custom training, reporter Craig Smith of the Santa Fe New Mexican produced a two-part look at the financial challenges of arts organizations. The first installment gave an overview of the financial picture, while the second story examined salaries and funding for arts organizations. The second piece included a full listing of more…

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Use maps to find underlying data

A tsunami map file came in handy recently during custom training at the Student Media Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The mapping file shows the value of looking into local geographic data, even if you don’t know how to use mapping software. More and more local, regional and state governments are…

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Custom training provides inroads to good journalism

When asked why, during a slowing economy and troubled time for newspapers, Rob Dean decided to provide customized IRE training for his staff and other journalists from across New Mexico and Colorado, the managing editor of The Santa Fe New Mexican said he wanted to inspire young journalists to embrace and pursue their craft. See…

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Santa Fe paper focuses on watchdog work

Only a local news organization can hold institutions and individuals in a community accountable, so journalists need to be equipped for the job, says Rob Dean, managing editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican. That’s why the newspaper sponsored custom IRE training for its staff in early February. “In the last three days, I think…

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Bring IRE to your newsroom

If your newsroom has cut back on sending journalists away for training, maybe you can persuade your bosses to bring IRE to you. IRE’s custom training is surprisingly affordable, with a proven track record of producing results. Working with our training directors, your news organization can put together the most effective schedule for your staff…

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